“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:13
Recently, I came across this verse and was struck with the thought, “When have I ever had a feast and intentionally invited the poor, the crippled the lame and the blind?” Yet, it is clearly a command spoken by Jesus. Oh, sure, I’ve done nice things for people and, just like you do, I’ve looked for people to bless at Christmas time, and I truly enjoy this. However; I was especially stuck on the part about the “crippled, lame and blind.” I became determined to purposely put this verse in action.
It just so happens that I live in a community in which there are no programs for those with physical or mental handicaps; thus they are left to beg in the streets. While there is only one main street in my town, at any given time, I can walk down the street and meet at least ten persons, some with no legs at all, others crawling with their hands dragging their legs behind, others with withered limbs. Usually, a family member drops them off on the street in the morning to try to gain a little money to survive the day, and then picks them up at night.
I began envisioning a feast for these people desperate for someone to have compassion.
Subsequently, I received a letter from an elementary school girl named Sienna. She once again sent me her allowance money and asked me to use it to feed people who have no food. Sienna’s supper was now on its way.
This past week I passed out invitations to all of the persons in the street I could find inviting them to a classy local restaurant for a buffet feast. I had considered simply passing out food, but decided I wanted them to have the dignity of entering a restaurant where many of them would never feel worthy to enter. I also wanted to share time with them and be able to communicate that I care, but that I care because Jesus cares.
Last night 23 persons arrived for Sienna’s supper, where they ate their favorite foods and drank soda until they could eat no more. They smiled and they laughed together. Later they each went home with a goodie bag of essential self-care items, a personal note sharing God’s love and plan for them, and a gospel message.
We are already planning Sienna’s Christmas Supper to be held in December and plan to add live music and the Jesus film.
***Side note: I like to dream about being able to do something sustainable to help these individuals, such as setting them up with small tasks they are able to do (everyone has SOME ability, despite whatever disadvantages he may face) and thus earn income in a way that gives them the satisfaction of being an active part of society.